31 August 2015

The end of the AT

The NY Times took a look at the controversy about ending the Appalachian Trail somewhere other than at Mount Katahdin. Aside the main points of the story, the fact that the Times gives this story prime real estate in Section A and a slideshow online is testimony to how much people care about the AT.

The Lower Ninth Ward

Photos of the Lower Ninth Ward taken a few years after Katrina.

Terry Brown

Landscape architecture has lost one of its great educators, Terry Brown of Michigan. In a remembrance posted on the University's website by is former colleagues, it was mentioned that he worked at Architects Collaborative and was an alum of the University of Wisconsin.

28 August 2015

Remembering Mississippi

With all of the remembrances of Katrina this weekend, most of the attention is focused on New Orleans. But the impact on Coastal Mississippi of a 28 foot storm traveling more than 6 miles inland was, to me, unbelievable. The coverage this week in Sun Herald, complete with photos and videos and stories, shows devastation that was largely ignored in the shadow of New Orleans.

The photos below are all from Southern Mississippi following the storm. But they are not from 2 weeks after or 2 moths after the storm. The photos were all taken 14 months after the storm.

Mapping the oceans' debris

Sometimes students talk to me about mapping as if we've run out of spatial patterns to study. So I love seeing examples of new frontiers in mapping. What else is waiting to mapped?

A team from National Geographic has tackled questions about the debris (mostly plastic) floating around on the surface of the Earth's oceans. Their map reveals patterns previously unknown.

26 August 2015


Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today. 

 - Robert McKee 

“If you don’t know the trees you may be lost in the forest, but if you don’t know the stories you may be lost in life.” 

- Siberian Elder

Finding our way

The BBC has some lovely photos of the designs of Adrian Fisher. They are captivating and confusing. Fisher explains, " Ideally, you need to get properly lost, but find your way out at the point just before you've had enough – during the period in which fun and disorientation are still operating hand in hand.”

Lose yourself in his work.

13 August 2015

Windows for predestrians

The Borough of Highland Park felt, consistent with conventional wisdom in much of planning and design, that building design shaped the social life of the streets' sidewalks. The Highland Park Planet reports that "The planning concept was that a windowless fa├žade is a deterrent to a pedestrian friendly downtown, i.e., counter to the town’s economic development strategy of creating a vibrant downtown shopping district that is attractive and pedestrian friendly."

But now, one of the businesses is asking to get rid of its windows and make its store look more like their stores in other cities. The response in this article shows clearly that communities do care about these things. As has been argued many times on this blog, planning news is some of the biggest local news.

07 August 2015

Friday Fotos

It has been a while but I am still struggling to put Spain behind me. Teaching our students there was an absolute treat. And in between lessons about chisel points on pencils and designs revealing historic layers I took nearly 10,000 photos. So don't be surprised if a few more still show up on this blog. Today's eye candy will be unlabeled, just enjoy.